July 2013

There are 27 blog entries for July 2013.

Heat in Southern California can often be unpredictable and sudden. One day it’s cloudy and possibly drizzling, the next morning it’s 75 degrees F by 9:00am. The beach is great, public pools are great, but nothing beats having a pool right in your backyard. For lazy Sunday’s and the kid’s pool parties, you’ll have built in entertainment. Not convinced? Here are 7 reasons why homeowners in Southern California should consider finally installing that backyard pool.

1. Stay Cool

Summers are hot in Southern California. And often, so are the winters. Beaches and public pools are crowded and require getting ready, packing up the kids in the car, and doing the round trip. With a home in your backyard, a 30 minute swim to cool off is convenient and fun.


First Team’s Weekly Mortgage Watch this week highlights the following updates:
  • During the recession, the desire for homeownership dropped considerably. That trend has now reversed, and more renters want to buy. According to the 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey, conducted by the National Association of REALTORS, 51% of today's renters claim that owning a home is one of their top personal priorities, from 41% in 2011. If you or anyone you know is renting and would like to understand their financial options, please give us a call.
  • Mortgage markets were relatively calm last week, especially when compared to the previous few weeks. Rates started the week drifting slightly downward, but reversed course as the week progressed. There was no real domestic

Palm Desert is a small vacation town in the Desert Areas of Southern California. The city is just far enough away from major cities to make it the perfect getaway for Southern California natives. Residents of Palm Desert enjoy warm days all year round! A gold course, pools and refreshing restaurants help visitors and locals beat the heat all year round. If you are looking for Palm Desert homes for sale, this is a great time to be hunting. Keep watch over the market trends of the area to have a better understanding of how the Palm Desert real estate market is performing. First Team's Market Trends tool updates every 15 minutes. Check back regularly or read the Market Trends report below to be a prepared home buyer or home seller.   Inventory Report (

When you start the journey to buying your dream home, there is a lot of searching and not a lot of finding. Going to open houses is a great way to get a feel for exactly what you want and to find homes that may just be the perfect fit you're looking for. First Team has 104 open houses in 5 counties and the Dessert Areas in Southern California this weekend, July 27 and 28, 2013. The more homes you see, the more prepared you will be to find exactly what you need.   Attendee's tip: Make sure you keep the focus of the conversation on the property. You want to make the most of your time with the listing agent. Ask…

Motto: The People are the City


Palm Springs is a famous resort city in Riverside County and has been attracting tourists and vacationers for more than a century. Hiking, golfing, tennis, and horseback riding are all readily available to visitors. While the city is home to many year-round residents, the economy of the town relies heavily on tourism. Many people buy their second or vaction homes in this city because of the warm winters and hot summers. Singles and families looking for Palm Springs homes for sale will be moving to a lovely city with a quaint, small town feel, especially during the off season.

The city belongs to Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD) and has a 18 schools, public and private: 10 elementary schools, 5 middle

Buying a new home is an exciting time for anyone. It’s easy to get swept away in the joy of becoming a homeowner and forgetting about all the extra costs of owning a home. It’s easy to look at your funds and sink them all into the slightly-too-expensive home to get exactly what  you want. But, doing this puts you at risk for not being able to afford basic homeownership costs, such as utilities. Read this list of 19 hidden costs of homeownership to make sure you are prepared for the responsibility.

  1. Property Taxes - It’s tempting to only look at the monthly mortgage payment and decide that buying a home is cheaper than renting. But, you have to take property taxes into consideration. Find out what the taxes are on a property before you buy, divide

Buying a home is a big task under any circumstances, but especially when you’re nowhere near the location you want. Home buyers from outside of Southern California face obstacles such as not being able to see a home before it’s bought or even seeing a for sale sign and calling the number. This means you will have to trust someone else to look for cracks in the walls and doors that stick. Out-of-state home buyers won’t know the culture and safety of the different neighborhoods, so choosing an area can seem overwhelming. These 4 tips will help you find the home of your dreams even though your several states away from it.


1. Hire a buyer’s agent.

When buying a home near you, you can get away with not hiring a real estate agent to represent you. But,

First Team’s Weekly Mortgage Watch this week highlights the following updates:
  • With some fears that increasing interest rates could dampen the economic recovery, some pundits have theorized that the rising rates could pull home prices back downward. In response, Fannie Mae researchers studied the correlation between rising interest rates and home prices back to 1990. The conclusion was that rising rates do not reduce home prices. Home prices generally level out when a large spike in rates occurs, but it is very rare for prices to actually drop.
  • Last week saw mortgage rates drifting slowly downward as the market seemed to accept that the Federal Reserve’s support programs will eventually end. However, the economy does have to improve from where it is

We're half way through summer. It's the perfect time to buy a home, so take some time to check out this weekend's open houses. There are 84 open houses in 4 counties. If you have never been to an open house, make sure you do a little research on the types of questions you should ask the listing agent and what you should keep an eye out for in the home and neighborhood.   Attendee's tip: Don't be discouraged by a busy open house. Take it as an opportunity to eavesdrop on the listing agent's conversations. Someone else may ask a great question you hadn't thought of. 

Motto: Make Living Your Mission


Before Irvine, Mission Viejo was a master-planned community. It continues to be one of the largest ever master-planned communities in the United States to be built as one project. The streets are wide and lined with trees, the neighborhoods are full of friendly residents, and the city is committed to preserving a sense of community. Anyone looking at Mission Viejo homes for sale will not be disappointed in the location or the culture.

People looking for places to relax outdoors will be thrilled to know that Mission Viejo is home to more than 50 parks--52 to be exact. One of these parks, Heritage Hill Historic Park, is a huddle of historic landmarks. Buildings from early settlers of the area have been relocated to this